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API development platform Postman becomes fourth Indian SaaS company to get into the unicorn club

The eight-year-old firm had last raised USD 50 million a year ago at a valuation of USD 350 million.

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Postman, an Indian software as a service (SaaS) startup that helps businesses build and test their application programming interfaces, or APIs, has shot to fame by landing into the unicorn club after raising USD 150 million in its Series C round.

The funding round led by Insight Partners along with existing investors such as Charles River Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners, valued the San Francisco and Bengaluru-based startup at USD 2 billion.

The eight-year-old firm had last raised USD 50 million a year ago at a valuation of USD 350 million. The latest funding thus marks a huge jump of USD 1.65 billion, or over five times, in its valuation. With the latest round, the company’s total funding to date reached USD 208 million.

For Abhinav Asthana, Postman’s CEO and co-founder, the company started as a side project when he set out to build a tool that would simplify API testing process. It quickly evolved into a much bigger idea, and Asthana, along with Ankit Sobti and Abhijit Kane founded the company in Bengaluru in 2012.

The company provides a platform for developers to build, run, test, and make changes to their APIs before launching them. An API is a set of protocols that allow software applications to communicate with each other.

“APIs are the building blocks of all modern connected software,” said Asthana in a blog post. “APIs are everywhere, and so is Postman. The rapid and consistent growth of Postman’s global user community over the years is rooted in a construct we call the ‘API network effect.'”

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“The API network effect works much like social networks: pockets of shared APIs connect teams [across organizations] that have common needs and interests.”

At present, the company claims to have more than 11 million developers across 500,000 organizations. A report by local media Economic Times (ET) citing sources said Postman earned revenue of USD 40 million in 2019.

“Developers all over the world are rapidly transitioning from the code-first mindset to an API-first mindset with Postman being the centre of this revolution,” Abhinav Asthana, co-founder and CEO of Postman said in a statement.

With the fresh round funding, he said, the company is going to accelerate product development and rapidly create all the features and capabilities users have been asking for.

Postman is the fourth Indian SaaS startup after Freshworks, Druva, and Icertis to cross a billion dollar valuation. While Freshworks, a customer engagement cloud software, was the first SaaS startup in the country to become a unicorn company in 2018, cloud data protection and management platform Druva entered the club in June last year, followed by contract-management software provider Icertis, a month later.

Over the past few years, SaaS has emerged as one of the favorites of large investors in India. Despite expectations of novel coronavirus negatively impacting the overall investment in the country, a recent report by Bain & Co. and Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association said, Indian SaaS market is expected to grow at around 50% annually, from nearly USD 6 billion in 2019 to over USD 20 billion in 2022.

According to the report, the PE and VC investment value in SaaS companies rose to USD 1.3 billion in 2019, a 60% increase over a year ago’s USD 840 million. Some of the upcoming SaaS companies that have got investors’ piqued include Clevertap, SirionLabs, OkCredit, Near, and Uniphore.